I have been reflecting in my own way on Dattopant Thengadi Ji's Third Way. I present these small "ripples" that it has caused in my mind in a series. I am glad it has found its resonance in many thinking minds alike. I hope the readers have read the earlier article in the series before moving ahead.
Also Read:Ripples : A Reflection On Dattopant Thengadi's Third Way - Part 13
Though the need for the inter disciplinary approach was observed during the second world war, surprisingly it didn't influence the sphere of economics. But the reckless exploitation of nature forced all see the relation between the nature and economics. And highly compartmentalised thinking couldn't see the relation between ethics and economics too. Many known economists from West strongly believed that ethics and moral values are in no way related to economics.
On the contrary Vyas ( sage) stated that treating material success as the only yardstick to measure merit and status indicates the advent of 'dark age' ( kaliyug). Only material gain can't be the objective of our life.
Dattopant clearly recognises the role of religion and it's relation to economics. ( He refers to a few known economists and critically analysed their theories ) A well-known British thinker Jeremy Bentham by introducing the principle of happiness to evaluate an action as good, separated ethics and morality from economics. Utility principle became the frame of reference for his theory. ( Utilitarianism is propounded by Bentham- which probably needs an independent write up)
Dattopant clearly mentions that such approach may invite all sorts of moral social evils. We need to carefully analyse and comprehend the consequences of such separation of economics from ethics.
He refers to the example of national income where money earned by anti social activities is also counted as a part of it as he elabortes the relation between ethics and economics. A reference to writings of Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen is made where he acknowledged the role of religion in introducing values in life.
Dattopant clearly states that Value free economics is a self defeating theory.Value based economics is based on right kind of samskaras supported by a matching education system. Unfortunately western thinkers are not aware of the role samskaras which can help successfully resisting social evils. Religion is one of the very effective mediums of introducing moral values and concepts in society. No other channel is as powerful as a religious teachings in the right sense. This would definitely help bringing durable and desirable changes in society.